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Schwarzenegger calls affair 'stupidest thing' he did in marriage

September 28, 2012 | 11:03 am

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger admits his affair with his family's housekeeper that resulted in a child was "the stupidest thing" he ever did to then-wife Maria Shriver and says that it caused her and his children a great deal of pain.

"I think it was the stupidest thing I've done in the whole relationship. It was terrible. I inflicted tremendous pain on Maria and unbelievable pain on the kids," Schwarzenegger told CBS' "60 Minutes" of the relationship that led to him having a now 14-year-old son by the housekeeper.

The interview with the former California governor is due to air Sunday on "60 Minutes" as the Austrian-born body-builder, movie star and politician promotes his new autobiography, "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story."

CBS aired part of the interview Friday. Much of the attention is focused on the end of Schwarzenegger's marriage to Shriver. The marriage ended after he left the governor's office in January 2011 after seven years in office.

Schwarzenegger, 65, for the first time is trying to put his own spin on revelations about the affair he had with housekeeper Mildred Baena. Their son was born just days after Shriver gave birth to the youngest of her and Schwarzenegger's children.

Schwarzenegger went to some lengths to cover up his connection to Baena and their son. Baena, who worked for the family for more than 20 years, listed her former husband as the father on the birth certificate.

Shriver moved out of the family's Brentwood mansion in 2011 after Schwarzenegger acknowledged the paternity. The former governor,  confronted by Times reporters  with evidence of the relationship and child, issued a statement in May 2011.

"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," he said in the statement. "I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry."

Shriver learned of the child and relationship in a couples' counseling session days after Schwarzenegger left the governor's office. Shriver subsequently filed for divorce. The pair continue to be seen with their children on occasion and remain on friendly terms.

Schwarzenegger, after decades as a box-office giant, swept into office during California's 2003 recall election with pledges to return the state to fiscal responsibility, but during his term he never managed to corral the Legislature, and much of the deficit spending continued.

The "60 Minutes" interview with Leslie Stahl comes as Schwarzenegger has returned to acting with the release of "The Expendables 2."


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-- Richard Winton